Demand for Irish passports from UK residents almost doubles
Demand for Irish passports from UK residents has almost doubled in the wake of Brexit, it has been revealed.
In the three months after the contentious vote, applications for the Republic's ID papers are up more than 17,300 compared to the same period last year.
Some 21 ,549 people in Britain sent off for the documents in July, August and September, along with 15,747 people in Northern Ireland.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said that demand is expected to keep rising into next year.
"Passport applications from Great Britain for the period January to September this year are up 40% compared to the previous year, surging from July onwards; with demand in August 2016 being almost 120% higher than the same month last year," he said.
In total, the Republic's passport services are expecting to process an additional 100,000 applications from home and abroad this year.
One in four people in Britain is said to have Irish heritage.
Anyone born on the island of Ireland or whose parents are Irish automatically qualifies for citizenship.
In some cases, those who have an Irish grandparent can also apply - known in some quarters as the Cascarino effect after Jack Charlton's exploits as manager of the Republic of Ireland football team in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Diplomatic staff in Dublin were forced to issue an appeal for calm in the days following the Brexit vote after Post Offices ran out of Irish passport application forms because of an initial surge.
In the wake of the referendum it also cautioned that t here have been significant fluctuations in passport applications in recent years and demand from Britain earlier in the year was only a fraction of what it was from 2007-09.
One anomaly in the numbers was a dip in applications in the weeks immediately after the June vote.
But passport services recorded significant increases in demand since then - up more than 10,500 in Britain and 6,300 in Northern Ireland compared to July, August and September in 2015.
Mr Flanagan said the big demand was combined with the increasing number of Irish people seeking passports to go overseas.
"Based on current trends, we estimate an overall increase in passport applications this year of between 12 and 14% - or 100,000 additional applications. Next year, we project a further significant increase," he added.